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Chickadees - Nature’s Backyard Charmer
Chickadees may be the most beloved birds that visit our backyards, but their seemingly never-ending energy and inquisitive nature are only part of what makes these birds fun to watch.
- Chickadees are inquisitive and found in wooded areas across much of North America. The more common species include the Black-capped, Carolina and Mountain Chickadees.
- Chickadees are easily identified by their namesake call “chick-a-dee.”
- Chickadees weigh less than half an ounce.
- In early summer, Mountain Chickadees are able to find and eat seeds they hid during the previous autumn.
- Chestnut-backed and Black-capped Chickadees watch other birds’ foraging habits to see if they should adapt their behavior to be more successful.
- Boreal Chickadees' winter-cached foods are most often stored lower on the tree in which they were found but high enough above common snow lines.
- Chickadees are generally monogamous and stay with the same mate for life.
- Chickadees are cavity nesters and will excavate their own nest site in rotten or decaying wood or use an old woodpecker hole or use a nesting box. (Mountain chickadees may nest under rock in a bank or in a hole in the ground.)
- Though chickadees are regular visitors to feeders, over 75% of their winter food supply still comes from natural sources.
- Chickadees do not migrate and are equipped to survive harsh winter weather. They cache foods and remember where they are hidden, have dense winter coats, diligently find excellent, well-insulated roosting cavities and can perform a regulated hypothermia to conserve energy overnight.
- When the temperature falls below 10º F, research has shown that the survival rate of chickadees almost doubled when they had access to feeders.
- Chickadees can gain as much as 10% of their body weight each day and lose it all again during a cold winter night
Nesting: Part 1
Ever wonder why birds choose to nest where they do? In this podcast by Wild Birds Unlimited, hosts John Schaust and Brian Cunningham explain the connection between nesting and bird migration. You’ll also learn tips for how to tell if birds are nesting in your yard and how to spot juvenille birds coming to your bird feeder. Be sure to tune in for Part 2, when you’ll learn how you can invite nesting bird families into your yard by providing the right kind of nesting boxes.
Click here to listen to this episode.